You’ve been watching the clock crawl since 4:45 p.m. It finally hits 5 p.m. and another frenzied, crazed day at the office is in the books. You fight rain and traffic to retrieve your children from day care. You’re battling a cold and you’re almost home when it hits you — you were too sick to pick up groceries, so there’s nothing at home to cook. And the thought of unbuckling everyone and sloshing them through the pouring rain leaves you less than thrilled. You are hungry. You are exhausted. You are stuck. There have to be ways to save time and simplify your life.
In a day when convenience is king, there are ways to make your life a little more user-friendly. You can start with grocery shopping. When the thought of perusing the grocery store aisles is too much to bear, take advantage of services in the area that will bring your bags out to your vehicle. Several Kroger locations have ClickList available. You can go online and select your groceries, as well as a pick-up time, and your items are ready when you arrive. WalMart has also jumped into the grocery preparation game. Set up your order online, and they’ll take care of the rest. If driving is too much, other online services bring the groceries to your front door, such as PrimeNow from Amazon, PTC Storks, and Kroc Groc.
Maybe you don’t mind making the trek through the store, but just need a way to better organize the trip. Countless apps are on the market to streamline your shopping experience, including Buy Me A Pie, Flipp, Grocery iQ, and Grocery Pal.
Meals Made Easy
Once you get the bags home, the food still has to be made into a meal. Unpacking the items, slicing, freezing and storing them right away can make them easier to pull out later and cook a meal. It can also help you prepare healthy snacks, ready to go at a moment’s notice. A variety of blenders, slicers and dicers can make the task go quicker.
Another time-saving appliance with delicious results is the crockpot. You can throw meat, veggies and seasoning altogether. Leave it for a few hours, then come back to a hearty meal. Perfect fix for a cold day when you have little time for work in the kitchen.
Perhaps you want a night to avoid the kitchen all together — who doesn’t? Restaurants from Longhorn to Truett’s Pizza Café offer curbside service. I love to call in my order and have them bring it to my vehicle, especially on my way home after a long day out. Of course, tried and true restaurant delivery service never fails. Pizzas don’t have a monopoly on delivery anymore. Grubhub and PTC Storks are two services that will bring your meal to your house from select restaurants.
Preparing meals isn’t the only way to simplify home life. Keeping the family and their many tasks organized is a job in and of itself. A few simple organizational tricks can keep things flowing smoothly at home. Setting aside what you will wear for the week can save a ton of time. And I mean the entire outfit – socks included. Doing this for myself and the kids saves on a lot of stress as the days get more harried with work and school. And along the lines of clothes – folding laundry and putting it away immediately can save so much time and effort. You know where items are, and don’t waste time looking for that favorite shirt, or dealing with an orphan sock.
Kids Can Help
Things can also be less stressful for you at home – when you have help. When kids are little, they want to help you do everything. A little extra time spent training them now can pay off with a willing helper who can actually get the job done later.
Let technology work for you
I put technology to use with its many ways to make life easier for me. I have multiple alarms set on my phone — anyone who knows me can attest to the constant chimes. However, it’s necessary to keep schedules for me and my family running smoothly. Online bill pay, especially with the automatic payment options, keeps my busyness from accumulating late fees for me. And one of my new favorite things – making appointments online. From hair appointments to doctor visits, it is such a convenience. It’s one less call I have to make. And if I don’t remember that I need to set the appointment until the middle of the night, I don’t have to wait until the office opens! Once you make the appointment — select the option for a text reminder. Nothing worse than being zapped with a no-show fee because you forgot, or having to wait to get back on the schedule.
There are many of us today who are strapped for time. We’re constantly looking for tricks to get the job done faster, easier, and for things to run more smoothly. Tapping into ways to simplify your home life makes things a little less stressful, and life a lot more user-friendly.